Say hello to your friendly neighbourhood genius

Yesterday was one of those days at work where you get such an adrenalin rush that you concede sometimes it is worth having access to a comp and mail.

I cracked the Mensa quiz forward someone had sent.
(For those of you who don’t know what Mensa is, it is a club for people who have an IQ of over 140, thus making them the brightest people on earth)

My colleague had forwarded an attachment where you had to crack codes like ‘1000 Y in a M’. This stands for 1000 years in a millennium. There were 33 such codes. Cracking 12 – 18 puts you in the ‘intelligent’ bracket. 19+ is the genius bracket where you qualify for the Mensa club. When I had reached 15 and was stuck for a while, I must admit I was slightly worried that my genius would not be officially recognized. Luckily after a while the golden 19 mark was hit and when I crossed 20 (always good not to be a borderline genius), I got together with two other colleagues who had also cracked 20 to compare notes.

The three of us then sat and started putting our collective geniuses together in the rarefied intellectual realms of my colleague’s office cubicle. We notched up to 25 rapidly. Other colleagues, abandoning their own individual efforts to qualify as a genius (talk about team work), joined us and began to help. Soon about five of us were loudly coming up with all sort of weird combinations. 15 P in a RT = 15 planks in a railway track?

When we hit 29, the tension was palpable. We were close to setting up a rocket science laboratory of our own. Then two of us came up with a simple and obvious solution for one of the codes. Hearts thumping, we tried it on and it worked! High fives followed and yelps of delight attracted the attention of the whole office. Including my boss who had no reason to doubt all of us were toiling away on something entirely not in sync with our strategic vision.

He came across, took a look at the sheet and then looking at all of us gave the answer for 15 P in a RT.
31 down, 2 to go.

My colleague cracked the 32nd just before we stepped into a team meeting. Halfway through the meeting, another colleague showed a SMS from his wife cracking the 33rd one.

Ah. The satisfaction of an afternoon well spent.

p.s. The final verdict on the quiz was that it was a tad disappointing. A lot of combinations that we would have considered tricky or clever were not there. But perhaps a genius is made of simpler and stronger stuff.


rj said...


you got 20 on your own?
I remember trying this out once and could not get more than 10.. :o(

i feel dumb now

Anita said...

Exhilaration that comes from shunning work in the afternoon drives people to break previous barriers :)

yeah but maybe i am smart too :) :)

Entropy said...

post is great. very different from the other posts.
totally enjoyed reading it.

Anita said...

Thanks z!